Teen charged with attempted murder of a correctional officer
“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” said Sgt. Michael Beatley. “It was an example of superhuman strength. That’s all I can say,” he added about what Aaron James Samuel was able to do in his agitated state.
Beatley noted in his 25 years in law enforcement, he had never seen such strength coming from one human being without it being drug-induced.
This was the second incidence of violence that Samuel had initiated with officers since his arrest Dec. 15.
On that date, an unidentified person called 911 reporting a possible homicide. When deputies arrived, Samuel was arrested and charged with probation violation and intoxication.
Samuel was in custody in the maximum-security wing at the jail when he allegedly assaulted two correctional officers Dec. 22.
At that time, he was being held as a high-risk offender.
Since the Dec. 22 incident, Samuel allegedly has refused to comply with orders from correctional staff. Samuel was reportedly yelling threats and continually banging on his cell door and window.
Armed with the knowledge that Samuel was potentially dangerous, officers decided that he should be moved from his cell to one in isolation to restore order to the maximum-security wing of the jail.
Deputies Travis Goings and Matthew Beatley assisted correctional officers Gary McFarland and Ted Sieck. They entered Samuel’s cell in an effort to restrain him for the move to isolation, according to Sgt. Beatley.
As they entered the cell, Samuel allegedly “viciously and violently attacked the correctional officers and deputies,” Sgt. Beatley said.
When physical restrain proved ineffective, officers used non-lethal options to subdue the prisoner. These also had no effect on Samuel. (Non-lethal options include the use of Tazers, canister gas or chemical agents, to name a few.)
One officer was injured before it was determined that additional personnel were needed. As cell lock-down took place, the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, off-duty correctional officers and California Highway Patrol officers were notified for assistance.
Upon the arrival of additional resources, numerous attempts were made to talk with Samuel and get him to comply with orders.
“He refused,” said Sgt. Beatley.
As officers attempted to move Samuel, other inmates in the correctional facility were removed to a safe location within the jail.
With other inmates out of the way, the SWAT team deployed a chemical agent in Samuel’s cell to subdue him.
Under the leadership of Sgt. Carson Wingfield, the SWAT team and correctional officers, equipped with breathing apparatus, entered the cell.
After allegedly “aggressively and violently attacking the officers,” Samuel was finally subdued, according to Sgt. Beatley.
Samuel reportedly injured four officers during the confrontation. Correctional officers Brad Belcher and Linda Cabrera were sent to Plumas District Hospital for treatment, according to Sgt. Beatley.
Samuel has been charged with attempted murder of a correctional officer, felony assault on a law enforcement officer, felony resisting and threatening a law enforcement officer, and felony destruction of jail property.
Samuel was transferred to High Desert State Prison near Susanville. He appeared in Plumas County court Tuesday, Dec. 26, as part of the terms required by the move to the prison, Sgt. Beatley said.
Samuel is scheduled to appear in court again Jan. 19, Beatley said.
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